Minimization of Hazardous Ion-Exchange Brine Waste by Biological Treatment of Perchlorate and Nitrate to Allow Brine Recycle

EPA Grant Number: R831276C017
Subproject: this is subproject number 017 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant CR831276
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)
Center Director: Ho, Tho C.
Title: Minimization of Hazardous Ion-Exchange Brine Waste by Biological Treatment of Perchlorate and Nitrate to Allow Brine Recycle
Investigators: Roberts, D. J. , Clifford, Dennis
Institution: University of Houston - University Park
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center (Lamar University) (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Perchlorate is an environmental contaminant and common component of solid rocket fuels and flares. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that ground water in 44 states have a potential to be contaminated with perchlorate, and actual drinking water contamination with this chemical has been documented in 14 states. Perchlorate has been found to contaminate surface and ground waters in north-central and east Texas. Recent work at UH has resulted in the development of an ion-exchange process for removal of perchlorate and nitrate (found as a co-contaminant in most groundwater) from groundwater. To minimize the waste from the ion exchange process we are developing a biological treatment process to remove the perchlorate and nitrate from the brine, thus allowing the brine to be recycled. The EPA is about to forbid the discharge of perchlorate laden brine streams, thus putting even more pressure on municipalities to utilize brine treatment processes. In previous research funded by AWWARF in a team with scientists and engineers from Montgomery Watson Harza we have developed a culture that can degrade perchlorate at 3 or 6% NaCl and performed a pilot plant demonstration of biological brine recycle in La Puente, California. Two other brine recycle processes (electrolytic and high pressure chemical perchlorate nitrate destruction) were also examined. The biological treatment was successful and 34 recycle runs were performed without any degradation of the drinking water product. Although the biological process was successful, the culture was not as stable as it should be to go into full-scale operation.

The objective of this project is to build on the previous work, by performing more fundamental studies to determine the microbiological and physiological parameters governing the stability of the cultures and allowing the refinement of the biological process to treat perchlorate and nitrate laden brine.

Approach:

One hypothesis that has developed from previous research is that a rapid perchlorate-degrading organism in the culture does not grow on nitrate and is not competing well with the slower perchlorate-degrading, nitrate-reducing organisms over long periods. We will use both molecular and growth based microbiological techniques to determine the organisms involved in perchlorate and nitrate degradation. Vital stains will be used to evaluate the health of the cultures under different growth conditions and to determine the effect of different salt concentrations on the microorganisms.

Expected Results:

Both pure- and mixed culture studies will be performed with the goal of enhancing the stability of the culture by 1) enhancing the conditions to favor the growth of rapid perchlorate- degrading organisms and 2) ensuring the appropriate culture composition. The information developed will be used to model growth and perchlorate degradation in brines with different salt, perchlorate, and nitrate concentrations.

The research proposed is to be conducted over a three-year period. The first year will focus on studies to identify growth conditions that will maximize the growth of perchlorate-reducing organisms in synthetic brine solutions ($67,747 GCHSRC, $17,703 UH). The second year mixed culture studies will be performed to determine the most stable combination of perchlorate and nitrate-degrading organisms ($69,557 GCHSRC, $18,234 UH). The third year kinetics and culture stability in brine studies will be performed with the culture that has been determined to be the best configuration of nitrate and perchlorate degraders.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 4 publications for this subprojectView all 64 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 journal articles for this subprojectView all 18 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Drinking Water, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, contaminated sediments, hazardous waste treatment, advanced treatment technologies, hazardous waste storage, perchlorate, contaminated soil, anaerobic biodegradation, zero valent iron, groundwater remediation, contaminated groundwater, hazardous wate, contaminant removal, drinking water contaminants, drinking water treatment, groundwater, contaminant candidate list

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    CR831276    Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R831276C001 DNAPL Source Control by Reductive Dechlorination with Fe(II)
    R831276C002 Arsenic Removal and Stabilization with Synthesized Pyrite
    R831276C003 A Large-Scale Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Ethanol on Groundwater Contamination
    R831276C004 Visible-Light-Responsive Titania Modified with Aerogel/Ferroelectric Optical Materials for VOC Oxidation
    R831276C005 Development of a Microwave-Induced On-Site Regeneration Technology for Advancing the Control of Mercury and VOC Emissions Employing Activated Carbon
    R831276C006 Pollution Prevention through Functionality Tracking and Property Integration
    R831276C007 Compact Nephelometer System for On-Line Monitoring of Particulate Matter Emissions
    R831276C008 Effect of Pitting Corrosion Promoters on the Treatment of Waters Contaminated with a Nitroaromatic Compounds Using Integrated Reductive/Oxidative Processes
    R831276C009 Linear Polymer Chain and Bioengineered Chelators for Metals Remediation
    R831276C010 Treatment of Perchlorate Contaminated Water Using a Combined Biotic/Abiotic Process
    R831276C011 Rapid Determination of Microbial Pathways for Pollutant Degradation
    R831276C012 Simulations of the Emission, Transport, Chemistry and Deposition of Atmospheric Mercury in the Upper Gulf Coast Region
    R831276C013 Reduction of Environmental Impact and Improvement of Intrinsic Security in Unsteady-state
    R831276C014 Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions
    R831276C015 Improved Combustion Catalysts for NOx Emission Reduction
    R831276C016 A Large-Scale Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Ethanol on Groundwater Contamination
    R831276C017 Minimization of Hazardous Ion-Exchange Brine Waste by Biological Treatment of Perchlorate and Nitrate to Allow Brine Recycle
    R831276C018 Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions